June 8, 2015 / 12:13 AM / 4 years ago

Alonso vents frustration with 'amateur' jibe

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Fernando Alonso warned McLaren they were making him look like an amateur after another dismal afternoon at the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday.

McLaren Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Spain waves after the qualifying session of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, near Barcelona, Spain, May 9, 2015. REUTERS/Juan Medina

After being told over the car radio by his race engineer to save fuel after just 24 of the 70 scheduled laps, the Spaniard expressed his dismay by exclaiming: “I don’t want. I don’t want”.

“We’re going to have big problems later if we don’t,” the double world champion was informed in return.

“Already I have big problems now. Driving with this, looking like amateur. So I race and then I concentrate on the fuel,” Alonso replied.

The Spaniard, who left Ferrari at the end of 2014, has yet to score a point in seven races this season as McLaren struggles to get to grips with a misfiring Honda power unit.

Neither he nor team mate Jenson Button finished Sunday’s race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with both retiring with exhaust problems.

The retirement was Alonso’s third in a row, something he has not suffered since he raced for now-defunct Minardi back in his 2001 debut season.

Button had started last, with an additional drive-through penalty, after engine problems prevented him from taking part in qualifying.

While Button showed his frustration after last month’s Spanish Grand Prix, but then finished eighth in Monaco, Alonso has been resolutely on-message so far despite his passionate reputation.

Alonso later explained that it had been just a simple disagreement.

“You are fighting and then you get to a group of cars where some people catch you and they are faster than you,” he explained. “You look like an amateur driver and that’s not good.

“We know we are not super-competitive, that we need to improve reliability. There are many things to do in our case. The weekend has provided us with some lessons to improve things. It was not easy here in Canada.”

Racing director Eric Boullier played down the remarks.

“I saw him after the race and he was okay,” he told reporters.

“It is easy to understand, you want to race and you have to save tyres and fuel and then you go into another territory. The more you save, the less you charge the batteries so then you have a problem, then your tyres cool down and it is a mess.”

Editing by Gene Cherry

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